Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on one of the subjects below for futher information.

General Information

>> What are court costs and why do I have to pay them if I did not appear in Court?

What are court costs and why do I have to pay them if I did not appear in court?

The court cost is not a fee for appearing in court, it is a fee that the Court has been mandated by the State of Arkansas to collect upon each conviction. There are no additional fees for appearing in court. The court costs are collected by the Court and forwarded to the State of Arkansas’s Administrative Justice Fund to support various agencies, pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated §16-10-305.

>> What happens if I do not make a plea or if I ignore my ticket?

What happens if I do not make a plea or if I ignore my ticket?

If you fail to make a plea on each violation shown on your citation, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. For more information on warrants and how to resolve them, please contact the District Court Business Office.

>> When will I receive my refund check?

When will I receive my refund check?

The refunds checks are processed on a monthly basis. The process begins the 15th of each month and takes approximately five (5) business days to prepare all refund checks.

>> When can I expect a restitutuion check?

When can I expect a restitution check?

The restitution checks are processed on a monthly basis. The process begins the 15th of each month and takes approximately five (5) business days to prepare all restitution checks. Restitution checks are due to the victim as long as the defendant is making payments toward the restitution. If the defendant fails to pay restitution as ordered, a warrant will be issued for his/her arrest.

>> Can I have a Public Defender appointed to represent me in District Court?

Can I have a Public Defender appointed to represent me in District Court?

The services of the public defender are appointed to indigent individuals charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense in peril of serving time in jail. Indigence is determined by the Judge.

>> Can the City or County Prosecuting Attorney's Office give me personal legal advice?

Can the City or County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office give me personal legal advice?

No. The Prosecuting Attorney serves solely as the legal counsel to the City of Fort Smith or Sebastian County.

 

>> Must I appear in court if I was served with a subpoena?

Must I appear in court if I was served with a subpoena?

Yes. A subpoena constitutes an Order of the Court, which citizens must obey or be subject to possible punishment of a fine or a jail sentence.

>> How much is my traffic ticket?

How much is my traffic ticket?

Penalties for traffic and parking violations vary. Please contact the District Court Business Office for more information.

>> How can I research the statute or ordinance I was charged with?

How can I research the statute or ordiance I was charged with?

You can click on the links below for online research sites. You may want to contact an attorney for more information or advice.

www.lexis-nexis.com/hottopics/arcode

City of Fort Smith Ordinances

 

Criminal / Traffic

>> How much is my traffic ticket and where can I pay it?

How much is my traffic ticket and where can I pay it?

Penalties for traffic and parking violations vary. The Court must have your citation entered into the Court's computer system before any information or prices will be quoted or provided. The Court does not usually receive the citation until the next business day after the citation was written. Please contact the District Court Business Office the following day for more information.

>> How many points will be placed on my driving record?

How many points will be placed on my driving record for the traffic charges that I have been cited?

You must contact driver services for this information. The court does not assign points or keep track of the points assessed on driving records.

Office of Driver Services
State Office Building, Room 104
616 Garrison Avenue
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901
Phone: 479-783-2422

>> How can I check the status of a case?

How can I check the status of a case?

You may contact the District Court Business Office regarding the date and time that your case has been placed on a docket. (479-784-2420)

Generally, all documents filed in the District Court are a matter of public record and are available for inspection through the District Court Business Office. Some documents are sealed by special court order and can not be viewed by the public, such as ACIC records and driving records.

>> What happens if I do not make a plea or if I ignore my ticket?

What happens if I do not make a plea or if I ignore my ticket?

If you fail to make a plea on each violation shown on your citation, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. For more information on warrants and how to resolve them, please contact the District Court Business Office.

 

>> What do I do if I missed my court date?

What do I do if I missed my court date?

Contact the District Court Business Office as soon as possible and a deputy clerk will explain your options.

>> How do I get information about a warrant for my arrest?

How do I get information about a warrant for my arrest?

You may contact the District Court Business Office or you may contact the appropriate law enforcement agency. If the warrant was issued in the city division, you may contact the Fort Smith Police Department- Warrant Office. If the warrant was issued in the state division, you may contact the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department- Warrant Office. If the warrant was issued for failure to pay fines or failure to answer a summons, contact the District Court Business Office to find out if it may be possible to pay the warrant without appearing in court.

>> Will I be assessed a court cost for appearing in court?

Will I be assessed a court cost for appearing in court?

No. The court cost is not a fee for appearing in court, it is a fee that the Court has been mandated by the Arkansas State Legislation to collect upon each conviction. There are no additional fees for appearing in court. The court costs are collected by the Court and forwarded to the State of Arkansas’s Administrative Justice Fund to support various agencies, pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated §16-10-305.

>> Must I appear in court if I was served with a subpoena?

Must I appear in court if I was served with a subpoena?

Yes. A subpoena constitutes an Order of the Court, which citizens must obey or be subject to possible punishment of a fine or a jail sentence.

>> How can I find a lawyer?

How can I find a lawyer?

If you wish to hire an attorney or obtain legal advice, but you do not know an attorney, you can contact the local bar association for an attorney referral service. Please refer to the court related links for additional information regarding this question.

>> Can I have a public defender appointed to represent me in District Court?

Can I have a Public Defender appointed to represent me in District Court?

The services of the public defender are appointed to indigent individuals charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense in peril of serving time in jail. Indigence is determined by the Judge.

>> Can the City or County Prosecuting Attorney's office give me personal legal advice?

Can the City or County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office give me personal legal advice?

No. The Prosecuting Attorney serves solely as the legal counsel to the City of Fort Smith or Sebastian County.

>> What is my duty as a victim?

What is my duty as a victim?

You must fully cooperate and stay in contact with the prosecuting attorney that has been assigned to handle your case. You will also be required to appear in court to offer evidence in the case. It is imperative that you follow all orders issued by the court, such as a no contact order.

>> Where can I retrieve information regarding a county jail inmate?

Where can I retrieve information regarding a county jail inmate?

District Court will only confirm District Court appearance dates and District Court judgment information regarding inmates being held in the Sebastian County Detention Center. For all other information, you must contact the Sheriff’s Department or the Detention Center.

>> How do I file a criminal case?

How do I file a criminal case?

Individuals do not file cases in District Court. A criminal proceeding is initiated by the government, either a prosecuting attorney or a law enforcement agency. Allegations of criminal behavior should be brought to the attention of the local law enforcement agency or discussed with a prosecuting attorney.

Community / Alternative Service

>> Can I chose where I want to work?

Can I chose where I want to work?

No. All work assignments are set by the Community/Alternative Service Coordinator. Work sites are selected by the Court, according to availability at each work site.

>> Can I work half days or partial days?

Can I work half days or partial days?

No. Participants are required to work their schedule as assigned by the Community/ Alternative Service Coordinator.

>> What if I miss a scheduled work day due to an illness?

What if I miss a scheduled work day due to an illness?

You must contact the Community/Alternative Service Coordinator immediately. The Coordinator will assist you with handling this type of situation. Please be advised that participants are only allowed one excused absence. Any further absences (excused or un-excused) will result in the issuance of warrant for the arrest of the participant.

>> What if I do not sign in or out on the time sheet at the work site?

What if I do not sign in or out on the time sheet at the work site?

You will not be given any credit for that day, which could result in the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of the participant.

>> What do I need to do if it is raining or in the event of inclement weather?

What do I need to do if it raining or in the event of inclement weather?

Most of the work sites work during the rain. Therefore, you are required to report for work as assigned. In cases of inclement weather, the participant is required to report and sign in on the time sheet as long as the work site facility is open for business. At the discretion of the work site supervisor, there are often times that the participant will be allowed to report for work, sign the time sheet and will then be dismissed. In this case, the participant will be given full credit for the work day as long as the dismissal was authorized by the supervisor.

>> What if I am unable to work due to a disability?

What if I am unable to work due to a disability?

You must provide proof of disability to the Court for a special assignment. The proof must be a written statement from a doctor. Please be advised that the Court will verify the validity of the disability statement. Persons with a disability may not be allowed to participate in the alternative service program. If community service has been ordered by the Judge, special arrangements will be made at the discretion of the Court.

>> If I do not live in Fort Smith, can I perform community service somewhere else?

If I do not live in Fort Smith, can I perform community service somewhere else?

You must contact the Community/Alternative Service Coordinator regarding this information. All outside agencies have to be approved and verified by the Court.

>> What do I do when I complete my assignment?

What do I do when I complete my assignment?

Allow several days for the Court to receive and enter all time sheets. Once you have been given credit for your time worked and satisfied your obligations to the Court, you may report to the Coordinator to assure proper credit and for a certificate of completion.

 

DISCLAIMER

This web site is purely a public resource of general information pertaining to the procedures of the District Court of Sebastian County, Arkansas, Fort Smith Division. The information provided is not intended to be a source of legal advice. This web site is not sponsored or associated with any other linked entity. The existence of any link is simply intended to make other resources available to the reader. This Court does not guarantee the accuracy or sources of any information found on any such web sites.